Library Archives

Teri Howe

An incredible meal will be forgotten if there are mistakes or delays during service. The most beautiful property will be forgotten if busy staff are ‘missing in action' and inadvertently test guests' patience too far.One need not remind hotel executives of the criticality of continually evaluating our vision - and execution - of guest service. This is part in the DNA of industry leaders. A less common trait of this same group is an appetite for exploring technologies that might accelerate or enhance the ability to deliver a quality, personal, exceptional guest experience. Hospitality traditionally trails other industries in adoption of - and the creativity around - new technologies. READ MORE

Tom O'Rourke

In the hotel industry, we are so busy talking about selling more rooms, more food and more beverages that we often overlook how effective the channels we use to market these offerings actually are. Many hotels still use outdated and ineffective marketing channels. Mobile applications provide hoteliers with a totally new channel through which they can interact with their guests on a more personal level, which increases guest satisfaction and loyalty as well as hotel revenues. Mobile apps offer countless opportunities to connect with guests that were not possible before the 2008 debut of the App Store on iTunes and subsequent adoption of mobile applications by smartphone users. In the past seven years, mobile app technology has exploded and hotels are set to benefit from it. READ MORE

Felix Boos

Are you approaching customer feedback reactively, trying to patch up holes in order to prevent damage to your reputation? Or, are you using it as a source of information to help you become more profitable? If the latter, then you need to know and understand the different channels for feedback, and select and combine them according to your needs. The tools to measure customer experience and satisfaction are key success drivers for your business, but in many cases, these tools are not used to their full potential. Service-driven businesses must optimize their way of listening to their customers in order to receive timely and objective feedback. This helps toward improving customer experience and, in turn, your business' profitability. READ MORE

Michael Schubach

Asking what the next big thing in hospitality automation will be is always something of a trick question. Industry watchers generally follow product announcements with a wait-and-see demeanor; contrary to conventional wisdom, the appearance of a better mousetrap does not guarantee a well-beaten path to the door. Industry consultants, on the other hand, tend to stay knee-deep in the needs and aspirations associated with current clients' current projects. Taken as a whole, it means that there is generally a substantial gap between innovation and adoption. READ MORE

Scott Morrison

Excellent High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. From busy business travelers to family vacationers on the go, the ability to have anywhere, anytime access to the Internet from any device can make or break a visit to your property. Properties must meet the needs of today's guests while anticipating network capacity requirements for the next 10-15 years. But it isn't only capacity hotels need to worry about. Crowding can also slow network speeds to a grinding halt. The proliferation of devices can strain even the most robust network. So how can you make sure your property does HSIA right? READ MORE

David Tossell

Comscore reported in April 2015 that 60% of digital media time is now spent on mobile devices. Mobile devices are now commanding a greater market share than desktops and laptops. And while 21% of Millennials do not use desktops or notebooks to go online, the fastest growing segment of mobile users are age 55 and older. Is your mobile strategy in good shape now that we are past critical mass for mobile commerce? With technology investment, there always looms the question of "do I want to be on the leading" edge of a trend. Many hoteliers ask this exact same question about the technology that they have in their hotels. READ MORE

Adam Gillespie

Hotel properties have suffered from a dramatic loss in guest service revenues starting with the in-room telephone, high costs for low rates of bandwidth to dwindling pay-tv take rates. Device mobility has allowed for guests to continue to circumnavigate the ways hotels can charge for sponsored technology services using everyday applications such as Skype, personal Wi-Fi hotspots and entertainment services such as Netflix and Hulu. This is leaving hotels scrambling to find superior ways to introduce new applications that can capture the guests' attention and accelerate immediate purchase decisions. READ MORE

David Hogan

Hotels have been at the forefront of offering guests ways to interact with innovative technologies for decades. When the popularity of television was starting to peak, many families did not have their own televisions. However in 1947, The Roosevelt Hilton in New York City became the first hotel in the world to install TVs in guest rooms. Guests were excited to experience the new technology during their stays. READ MORE

Steven Ferry

Last month, Part I of this article traced the history of robots in hospitality from Ancient Greek times to the first workplace application at GM 50 years ago, and the exponential progress made in robotics since then with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, and the rapid encroachment into the workplace, including hotels now being run mainly by robots. Surprisingly, and little known, is the fact that there is a convergence between humans and robots: the effort to make robots capable of everything and more that humans are capable of, and humans being "improved" with robotics. In just 15 years, the expectation by those aware of or driving the trend, is that humans will be largely redundant in many fields, from surgery to hospitality. READ MORE

Drew Patterson

Service delivery is being changed in a fundamental way, and guest communication is at the heart of this change. Multi-channel mobile communication allows hotels to have more touch points with the guest before, during, and after their stay. When done right, a smart mobile strategy will bring hotels closer to their guests. Because the tools are so easy to use and access, a large percentage of guests will use it and appreciate it. These interactions are at the heart of how we interact with and serve guests; they aren't just marketing channels. READ MORE

Ted Fifelski

Mobile payment technologies have captured the spotlight of the retail, banking and restaurant industries, and the hospitality industry is no exception. One solution in particular can help mobilize the guest experience and put hotels back in control of it. Host card emulation (HCE) is a cloud-based technology that leverages the Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities right within an Android phone to virtually store a guest's credentials - room keys, credit cards, reward cards and more. READ MORE

Lewis Fein

A hotel without a customer-centric philosophy is a hotel without customers. Nowhere is that statement more urgent, and nowhere is that assertion more visible, than among the thousands of websites - and the tens of thousands of generic pages, filled with marketing boilerplate and stock photographs - that make the hospitality industry appear indifferent or rather inhospitable to potential guests. Changing this outlook, and converting this non-style into a marvel of design and attentive service, must be at forefront of every hotel executive's agenda. The alternative, which is a do-nothing response to the power and influence of the Web, is neither wise nor sustainable. Hoteliers need to resolve this challenge immediately. READ MORE

John Padwick

Analytics and personalization are more relevant to the Customer Travel Planning Journey than ever before. As these factors evolve in parallel with innovations in technology, unique value propositions become crucial for every conversation and conversion. For the world-class brands we serve, every ad, offer and delivery should consist of more than just a currency exchange - more than a discounted room rate or property value points. Instead, travel brands need to understand where each customer stands within the travel journey - from search to shopping to booking. We need to develop conversations with our prospects by unifying the customer experience across devices and guiding each customer toward the next stage of the journey. READ MORE

Brandon Dennis

SEO (search engine optimization) is a long-term strategy. There are no quick wins. There are no shortcuts. You won't see success for months, or even years. You need to be ok with that. Think about SEO like investing in the stock market. Sure, a few people get quick wins, but for most investors, they only find success after years of investment in mutual or index funds. You will only find success with SEO if you understand that you are in it for the long-haul. READ MORE

Tom O'Rourke

Hotels that offer customizable and event-specific mobile apps for meetings provide high levels of service to their guests and leave lasting impressions. Today's business professionals demand technology savvy venues for their conferences. Providing an event app can give a venue a competitive advantage over other possible venues. Hoteliers, meeting organizers, and attendees all benefit from using a mobile app because it easily provides a convenient information center that adds value to the event experience as a whole. READ MORE

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Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.